Jon Murray, in his second year in Lubbock, has already taken the Red Raider cross country team to new heights this past 2006 season. Not only did Murray put the women's team in the rankings, but he coached them to their first-ever team qualification to the NCAA Championships.
The shining moment of the season was guiding sophomore Sally Kipyego to a national title in the newcomer's undefeated season, making her the first cross country champion in school history. Her efforts, paired with Irene Kimaiyo's ninth-place finish led the team to an overall sixth-place standing. Murray guided three Tech members to All-American status at the national meet, with Kipyego and Kimaiyo on the women's side, and Kevin Chelimo in his final race for the men.
Murray comes to Tech after five years as head coach of the Wildcat cross country and track and field program and nine years as the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach. Wes Kittley was responsible for hiring Murray for the ACU staff during his tenure as head coach.
In five years as head coach for men's and women's track and field at ACU (2000 and 2002-05 seasons), Murray coached the Wildcats to 11 NCAA Division II national championships and eight Lone Star Conference championships (five men, three women). His Wildcat men's team was undefeated in 10 NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor national meets, and his women's team won the indoor title in 2000.
In cross country, Murray's Wildcats were undefeated in LSC men's cross country with 14 straight titles, and the women's team won the league crown in 10 of the 14 seasons (giving him a total of 32 league titles as a head coach). Both men's and women's teams finished as high as second in the nation in NCAA Division II cross country.
While he was serving as head cross country coach at ACU, Murray was also assistant coach for track and field in 1992-99 and 2001 seasons. During that time, the Wildcats won 21 NCAA Division II national titles (seven women's indoor, five women's outdoor, six men's indoor and three men's outdoor on Kittley's staff).
He has been Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year in men's and women's cross country and men's track and field and president of the NCAA Division II Cross Country Coaches Association. As a head coach, four of his Wildcat track and field student-athletes won prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarships.
In 2005, he was named NCAA Division II Coach of the Year for men in both indoor and outdoor track and field after his Wildcats extended their winning streak in championship meets to eight. Under Murray, the Wildcats won both indoor and outdoor titles in 2002-03-04-05 -- a streak matched only once previously in NCAA Division II history.
Murray's cross country teams have won 24 Lone Star Conference championships (men from 1991-2004 and women in 1991, 1993-97 and 2001-04). He also has been named LSC cross country Coach of the Year 24 times.
His 1993, 1996 and 1998-2004 men's cross country teams finished in the NCAA Division II top 10. The 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 squads both won NCAA South Central region championships and then went on to finish second at the national championship meet.
The women's best-ever finish came in 1995 when they finished second at the NCAA Division II national cross country meet.
He and his wife, Samantha, were married in the summer of 2000 and have three children: Jonah, Gracie and Nathan.